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Housing prices, sales fell in Waterloo Region in October, realtors say

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After a slight upwards tick in September, home prices continued to trend downward across the area in October, according to the Waterloo Association of Realtors.

In their monthly update, the realtors said the average cost of buying a home in Waterloo Region in October was $763,630, which is down 1.6 per cent from September, when that number was $752,421. The September average was also 8.4 per cent lower than what realtors had reported a year earlier.

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Aside from September, when the average price was up 0.1 per cent, average housing prices have been in decline since February, when they reached an all-time high of $1,007,109.

Detached homes only declined slightly in October as the average sale price fell by 0.3 per cent from $862,435 to $860,568.

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The downward trend continued not only in home prices but in overall sales as well last month.

A total of 491 homes changed hands last month, according to WRAR, which it says is 39.7 per cent lower than in the same month last year, and 36.2 per cent below the previous five-year average.

This total included 310 detached homes, 84 townhouses, 64 condos and 31 semis.

“Unsurprisingly, the pace of home sales continued to slow in October after the Bank of Canada’s sixth straight interest rate hike in September,” WRAR president Megan Bell stated.

“Faced with higher borrowing costs, some buyers have had to re-assess what they can afford. As these buyers get moved to the sidelines, sellers question if now is the best possible time to sell.”

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She also noted that while the housing market appears to be cooling off, there is still a shortage of housing in the area.

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“While there is uncertainty in the minds of consumers about current market conditions, one thing is for certain, Waterloo region’s housing supply remains one of the tightest in the country,” says Bell.

“Buyers may be on the sidelines for now due to affordability, but the underlying demand for housing remains strong.”

While that may be true, the realtors say there were 928 homes in active status at the end of October, which is an increase of 134.9 per cent from a year earlier.

The number of months of inventory shows how long it would take to sell a home at the current rate, which has risen to 1.3 months, which is up 160 per cent year over year.

And it is now taking 22 days for a house to sell in Waterloo Region, whereas it was taking 10 days last year.

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